name, the building at 521 Lincoln in Wamego, Kansas is a historic
landmark. Built in 1895 by J.C. Rogers, a local banker and merchant,
the building was designed to accommodate his mercantile business
on the ground floor and a typical 1890s music hall on the upper
level. Rogers was inspired by the Chicago World's Fair, also known
as the 1893 Columbian Exposition. When the Fair closed, Rogers returned
to Chicago and purchased architectural ornaments, works of art,
Fair artifacts and even complete buildings. Very soon these items
began arriving in Wamego by train.
the upper level, which included a stage adorned with pediments and
pillars from the Fair, was known as the Rogers Music Hall. In 1898
Rogers added the words "The Columbian" above the stage.
The chief attraction, however, were the six enormous oil paintings
that had been the centerpiece of the U.S. Pavilion at the Fair.